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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 24, 2017

Pekin ends postseason at Highland

By Bill Gatchel, GTNS Staff | Jul 06, 2017
Photo by: BILL GATCHEL Pekin Senior Kaylee Linder prepares to head to second base after hitting the ball to right field in the game at Highland Wednesday, July 5.

RIVERSIDE — The Pekin softball team saw their chances at advancing in the postseason end Wednesday as the Highland Huskies’ defense stopped the Panthers from moving closer to playing at state.

Pekin started off strong in the first when Kaylee Linder and courtesy runner Sami Greiner scored on a double by Ellie Ledger in the first inning. Highland responded in the bottom of the first by scoring a run, putting Pekin up 2-1.

In the third inning, Zoey Wright started things off with a home run over the left field fence, adding to Pekin’s lead. Linder followed by hitting a pop to right field for a triple. She would come home on a sacrifice by Ledger, putting the Panthers up 4-1.

Highland would slowly battle back as they scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth, closing Pekin’s gap to one run. The Huskies continued their scoring drive in the fifth as they scored three runs to take the lead 6-4 and added two more in the sixth to put the score at 8-4, where it would remain until the final out of the seventh.

Pekin coach Allison Glick said she was proud of how her girls battled against a worthy adversary.

“We knew coming into the game that Highland just puts the ball in play, and puts the pressure on by bunting and slapping. They’re a quick team and they hit the ball hard. That’s what happened. They just kept putting it on, and we had a few little mistakes and it adds up.”

Glick said the Panthers have nothing to be ashamed of.

“I think we had a good season,” Glick says. “I was telling the girls, ‘Be proud of yourselves.’ Comparing them from our first game to now, I feel like it’s night and day. We’re a completely different team. I’m super proud of the girls we had this year.”

The team’s lone senior this year was Kaylee Linder, and she will be missed, Glick says.

“She was our short stop and second hitter. We’re going to miss everything about her: her speed, her fielding along with her great attitude and great leadership. She’s going to be a huge loss for us next year.”

The Panthers end their season with a 16-10 record while Highland advances to the next round. They will face Eddyville in Eddyville at 7 p.m. Friday.

The winner of that game will compete Monday for a spot in the state tournament.

 

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